Pilot project puts autonomous deliveries on Swiss roads

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Swiss supermarket Migros, startup LOXO, and elevator maker Schindler are testing a new kind of delivery service called “Migronomous”.

The electric, self-driving vehicle was developed in Switzerland and will bring groceries from a Migros store to the Schindler Campus in Ebikon. This is the first time such an autonomous delivery service has been seen on Swiss roads.

Employees at the Schindler facility can order groceries that will be delivered by the autonomous van.

Migros and Schindler are testing the self-driving delivery vehicle LOXO Alpha built by LOXO as part of a pilot project that started on February 8, 2023.

Schindler employees in Ebikon can place a Migros order online. Migros employees load the delivery vehicle with the ordered products before it automatically drives, at a maximum speed of 30 km/h, to the Schindler company premises 500 metres away. Upon its arrival, the Schindler employees can use a code to open the compartment with their order and remove their purchases.

In the initial test phase, the vehicle will travel between the Migros store and the Schindler company premises once a day from Monday to Friday. “We are very much interested in combining vertical mobility with innovative, automotive transport options. Connected transport solutions can make cities more livable and sustainable as well as significantly contribute to decarbonization,” explains Christian Studer, head of new technologies at Schindler. The LOXO Alpha was developed and built by engineers entirely in Switzerland. It is the first self-driving delivery vehicle on Swiss roads. The vehicle travels emission-free thanks to an electric motor and can transport up to 64 shopping bags.

The pilot project is very demanding. In order to achieve maximum success, the vehicle will gradually become more and more independent until it is fully automated in the last project phase. The growth curve for online orders has been pointing upwards for years. Migronomous can play a valuable role in the area of on-demand delivery.

“Migros wanted to be the first retailer in Switzerland to play an active role in this future-oriented project. A self-driving delivery service fits to our pioneering spirit,” says Rainer Deutschmann, head of safety and traffic, Migros-Genossenschaftsbund.

“We can certainly imagine that the self-driving delivery service could be an addition to our existing transport fleet in the future.”